Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Anna's Story

Today Anna is a master's degree student at a state university.  She was born prematurely in 1978 in a rural town where there were no services for children with visual impairments.

From the beginning, her parents were determined  that their daughter not be treated any differently than her brother.  They encouraged her independence and literacy development.

They contacted the state's school for blind children and requested a teacher to come to their community to work with Anna.  The teacher introduced Anna and her family to braille.


Anna feels braille on the letter card.  She is seated at a table with letter cards in front of her.

Anna's teacher of visually impaired children added braille to the learning materials she was using with her regular kindergarten class.


Anna learned how to use a cane for travel.  Her parents taught her about things in her home and community and encouraged her exploration.


Anna with her cane on the curb of a street.

Anna with cane in one hand reaches up with her other hand to get the mail out of a post office box.


After attending public school through grade 8 in her local district, Anna transferred to the state school for deaf and blind children 100 miles from home.  She attended high school classes both at the school and in a nearby public high school.  She graduated and enrolled in the local university where she is now working on a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling.


       Anna sits between a male student and a female student.  All 3 are taking notes - Anna with her portable note taker and the others with pen and paper.

In her college classes Anna uses a variety of technology including the Pac Mate for taking notes.  

Anna and her dog guide walk down a hallway in a college  building.

Anna travels independently with her dog guide Jandy.  Anna lives in her own apartment and does all the things like other graduate students do.

Read Haylee's Story.